Golf: Donald under the radar but still chasing Open first

Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:46pm EDT
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By Martyn Herman

HOYLAKE England (Reuters) - The bad rounds don't feel as bad and the tough ones are easier to handle these days for Luke Donald but before anyone believes the Englishman has lost his hunger to win a long-awaited major – think again.

With two young children the Chicago-based 36-year-old has more to occupy his time than dawn to dusk practice rounds but the former world number one could never be accused of enjoying the fruits of his distinguished career and settling for easy street.

After all, this time last year he was busy taking apart the swing that had fired him to the top of the rankings, reconstructing it in his quest for perfection.

It is a process he says is only 90 percent complete which perhaps explains why he has arrived at this week's British Open under the radar, rather than riding high on the list of potential champions.

"If the changes improve me just a little bit then it was worth it," said Donald who has missed the cut in two of the last three Opens.

"I'm excited about what I've done and hopefully the results will start to show soon," he told Reuters in an interview after going through his putting routines in pouring rain at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club on the eve of the tournament.

"I didn't have a good 2013 so, compared to three years ago when I went to Sandwich as number one in the world, I'm probably under the radar a little.

"My form this year has been a little inconsistent but I've had some good tournaments and I feel I've reached a place where I can trust my swing.   Continued...

Luke Donald of England chips onto the first green during a practice round ahead of the British Open Championship at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, northern England July 14, 2014.   REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton